TikTok quietly launched a GIF-like “video stickers” feature for direct messages

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TikTok quietly launched “animated video stickers” for direct messages in February, the company confirmed to AapkaDost. Video stickers essentially work like GIFs and are an extension of TikTok stickers, which rolled out last December and allow users to create and upload their own custom images for use in direct messages.

Users can browse popular video stickers uploaded by other users or create their own. The feature, discovered by product information agency Watchful.ai, is a way to make direct messages more fun and engaging. If you want to create your own sticker, you can select the “create sticker” option in an instant message box. From there you can select a video from your liked, posted and favorite videos, meaning you can create video stickers from your own content or from content posted by others.

Image Credits: Watchful.ai

After selecting a video, you can use video scrubbing thumbnails to select how much of the video to include in your video sticker. There is also the option to add text to the video sticker or crop the content. Once you’re done, you can choose to save the video sticker to your personal sticker library, where you can find it in your DM favorites tab to send it to your friends at any time. Or you can choose to add it to the sticker store on TikTok, which means other users can discover and use the video sticker.

TikTok notes that it only displays videos with sticker permissions, meaning you don’t have to worry about misusing a creator’s video without their permission. Creators can choose not to allow others to create video stickers from their videos by changing their privacy settings.

If you don’t want to create your own video sticker, you can browse popular, trending and new video stickers that people have created and used in the app.

TikTok video stickers

Image Credits: AapkaDost/Screenshot

While you’ve been able to send GIFs in TikTok direct messages for some time thanks to a partnership with GIPHY, the new feature gives users a way to share content from the app in new ways. For example, instead of simply sharing an entire video with someone via DM, you can share a specific part of it by turning it into a video sticker. Or, if there’s a part of a video that you and a friend find particularly funny and refer to often, you can turn it into a video sticker. And of course, just as GIFs are often used to share comments, you can choose from a selection of video stickers to comment on a friend’s post, or create your own.

TikTok has already established itself as a successful entertainment platform and is now likely looking to expand its social features to allow users to spend even more time on the app. Given that WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram all have stickers that users can send to each other in direct messages, it’s not surprising that TikTok is looking to expand its sticker offerings by focusing on what it’s known for: video.

The launch comes as TikTok recently revamped its direct message settings. Earlier this year, the company quietly expanded its direct messaging settings to give users a choice of who they want to receive messages from. The options are now anyone, suggested friends, mutual followers, people you’ve messaged, or no one. Prior to this change, only people who identified users as friends or were recommended could DM each other on the platform.

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